The Best Virtual Summer Camps for Kids in the Sacramento Area
There’s no doubt stay-at-home orders have put a tremendous strain on just about everyone. While healthcare workers and first responders are certainly taking the brunt of the stress, families are also adjusting to their new normal. With schools closed, many parents are struggling to find a balance between working from home and filling in as their children’s teacher.
With the school year wrapping up, many telecommuting parents are relieved to be free of their educational responsibilities. However, many are wondering how to keep their kids occupied now that typical summer activities are off the table, including day camps. Although some day care centers are open, not all parents feel comfortable sending their kids away just yet. But some summer camps have adapted by switching their programs to virtual models. From dance to computers to art, following are some of the best virtual summer camps for kids in the Sacramento area.
The hands-on, engaging Live Online Science Summer Camps offered by Destination Science will focus on new STEM topics each week. Each camper receives a project kit prior to the start of camp, which they can build motorized bots or millennium starships alongside their virtual classmates.
Dream Enrichment is known for its dynamic after-school programs and in-person summer camps. This year, they’ve gone online and expanded their repertoire! Virtual weeklong camps include art, coding, science and fitness, with chess on the way. There are dozens of sessions throughout the season and virtual camps are open to kids of all ages.
Operated by the Mission Oaks Recreation and Park District, this popular camp keeps kids busy all summer long. Their virtual program is no different, with songs, crafts, drama and other activities. The themes this year include topics like dinosaurs vs. cavemen, Egypt and western rodeo.
The Sacramento Ballet has altered its summer programs for kids by taking their lessons online! The Virtual Summer Program has options for kids of all ages, with themes like Pirates and Mermaids and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. They also offer an intensive virtual program for serious dancers.
Do you have a budding novelist in your midst? Help them hone their craft with Virtual Summer Creative Writing Camps. Camps are targeted to both elementary and middle schoolers, who will learn to write fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. Games and activities will keep them on their toes. In-person camps are also scheduled at their Sacramento location, following social distancing and sanitizing guidance put forth by the CDC.
The California Museum has robust summer camps focusing on California history, arts and culture. Now, they’ve turned their program virtual with the weeklong camp, “California Time Traveler.” Designed for ages 6–11, the camp combines Zoom sessions, videos and hands-on activities focusing on the state’s most significant eras.
The Performing Arts Summer Camp offered by CLARA is now 100 percent digital! Designed for kids 10–18, the virtual masterclass series includes daily live classes in dance, music, theater and production arts. There will be in-depth discussions and activities related to these topics, as well as access to pre-recorded arts instruction.
Based in the Bay Area, Camp EdMo has locations in the greater Sacramento area. But this year, their program is entirely online. The focus is on STEAM and SEL (Social Emotional Learning) for pre-K–eighth grade kids. The weeklong camps have specialized science-based themes, ranging from animation to wildlife to food chemistry.
The Act*Dance*Sing summer camps hosted by Sacramento Theatre Company offers all the same instruction of in-person camps, but in the safety of your own home. Camps for kids in grades 1–8 include themes like “Exploring Enchanted Lands” and “Monsters and Mayhem,” while high school camps focus on musical theater and Shakespeare.
Although they have locations in both Folsom and Rocklin, Bach to Rock is hosting online mini camps this summer. While some camps require an instrument (piano, drum, guitar or ukulele), others, such as voice, songwriting and music production, only require a device for Zoom lessons.
If you’d like your children to improve their Español, check out the online virtual camp put on by The Spanish Classroom. Designed for kids aged 5–10, the camp includes language lessons, arts and crafts, games, music and recipes. In-person Spanish immersion camps that double as day care are also offered in Carmichael.